Kendall County considers revising ethics board
By Steve Lord email@example.com September 5, 2012 2:52PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:14AM
YORKVILLE — The Kendall County Board is considering changing the size of its ethics commission.
A draft proposal would increase the size of the commission from three to five members, one of several changes to the overall ethics ordinance.
The earliest board members would vote on the changes is in two weeks.
State’s Attorney Eric Weis characterized most of the changes as “logistical,” because under the current ordinance, it is hard to get some things done.
“Some provisions just aren’t practical,” he said.
One of those is the size of the commission itself. Because it’s made up of three members, even two of the members cannot converse without risking violating the state Open Meetings Act. That made communication between members difficult, Weis said, even if just to set a meeting date.
Another change is designating the state’s attorney office as the place the ethics commission members would report findings they think deserve possible prosecution. The current ordinance says the commission should refer such matters to an attorney designated by the County Board.
The changes also give the state’s attorney’s office the authority to request a special prosecutor from the courts if a conflict arises.
Under the changes, the County Board chairman would appoint all the commission members, with the consent of the rest of the board. There should be three members of one political party and two of the other.
The chairman also will designate three members for three-year terms, and two – one of each party – for two-year terms. After that, all the terms would be for two years.
According to the ordinance, applicants for positions on the commission must prove party affiliation “through affidavit,” most likely through their past primary voting record.
Yorkville resident Todd Milliron pointed out to the board that because primary voting turnout is so low, proving party affiliation that way “eliminated a lot of people from consideration.”